author image by Falc | 0 Comments | January 6, 2023


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NASA Identifies 13 Regions Where Humans Can Safely Land on the Moon

Each region contains multiple potential landing sites for Artemis III, but which one gets selected depends on launch timing in 2025.

I’ve been working at PCMag since November 2016, covering all areas of technology and video game news. Before that I spent nearly 15 years working at as a writer and editor. I also spent the first six years after leaving university as a professional game designer working with Disney, Games Workshop, 20th Century Fox, and Vivendi.

NASA Identifies 13 Regions Where Humans Can Safely Land on the Moon Image

(Credit: NASA)

NASA has identified 13 regions (Opens in a new window) near the lunar South Pole where Artemis III could land, with each region containing multiple safe landing sites.

Multiple options are required because specific landing sites are "tightly coupled to the timing of the launch window." NASA needed to take into account terrain slope, ease of communication with Earth, and lighting conditions, which the agency assessed using decades of publications and lunar science results.

The 13 regions identified are as follows:

Peak Near Shackleton

Connecting Ridge Extension

de Gerlache Rim 1

de Gerlache Rim 2

de Gerlache-Kocher Massif

Leibnitz Beta Plateau

As well as being the first time humans will return to the Moon since 1972, the mission will see the first woman set foot on the lunar surface. Once there, the astronauts can assess the available resources, collect samples from permanently shadowed regions, conduct scientific analysis of an "uncompromised area" to assess water ice, and help us learn more about the history of the Moon.

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Artemis III is scheduled to launch at some point in 2025. NASA will select landing sites within each region when target launch dates are set, and these will continue to be refined as the launch timing becomes more definite. It means we probably won’t know the final landing site until just before the final launch date is announced.

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